UPDATE: Local Escambia County (FL) Hurricane Information, Closures, Plans, Related Actions

September 14, 2020

Here is the latest local update from Escambia County on Hurricane Sally and related closures, actions and plans.

Current Situation

On Monday, Sept. 14, Escambia County issued resolution R2020-124, declaring a state of local emergency due to imminent threat of Hurricane Sally.

  • Escambia County Emergency Operation Center has been activated at a level 2 due to COVID-19 and will be activated for Hurricane Sally beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 7 a.m. We will continue to closely monitor the situation over the next 72 hours to provide our residents with the most up-to-date information.
  • There are currently NO evacuations ordered for Escambia County residents, no matter the location. However, conditions can change rapidly. It is vital that residents monitor our local media for the most up-to-date forecasts several times a day and follow any safety directives from Escambia County Emergency Management officials.
  • Public works crews are implementing their storm preparation protocol which includes fueling of equipment, stocking vehicles, placing employees on standby for after-hours road clearing, removing trash cans and lifeguard towers from Pensacola Beach, and checking drainage systems.
  • County offices will be closed to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 15, including the Tax Collector’s Office, the Supervisor of Elections Office and all offices of Pam Childers, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. A decision for Wednesday county offices will be made tomorrow.
  • The Perdido Landfill and the Waste Services Transfer Station will be closed to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
  • All meetings have been canceled tomorrow including the Board of Electrical Examiners, the Pensacola-Escambia Promotion and Development Commission, Environmental Enforcement Special Magistrate, FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors and Extension Council. The Board of Adjustment meeting will be canceled Wednesday, Sept. 16.
  • Pensacola Beach Lifeguards are flying red flags on Pensacola Beach. The water is closed to swimming and wading.
  • As a reminder, residents are encouraged to prepare their disaster kits now, which should include seven days of food and water supplies for after the storm arrives. Residents are also encouraged to fuel all vehicles and generators, and prepare all medications needed by family and pets. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time. Remember, this year’s disaster kit might need to look a little different if you must go to a shelter—make sure to include face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.With possible flooding forecast for our area, please do not drive into hazardous flood water and remember to Turn Around Don’t Drown. Follow these flood safety tips:
    • Get to higher ground – Get out of areas subject to flooding.
    • Do not drive into water – Do not drive or walk into flooded areas. It only takes 6″ of water to knock you off your feet and 2 feet of water to carry away a vehicle.
    • Stay informed – Monitor local radar, television, weather radio, internet or social media for updates.

Sand is still available at the following locations:

  • Baars Field Athletic Park – 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola
  • Brent Athletic Park – 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
  • Don Sutton Park – 2320 Crabtree Church Road, Molino
  • Equestrian Center – 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
  • Escambia County Road Department – 601 Highway 297-A, Pensacola
  • Ferry Pass Middle School – 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola, sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
  • John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park – 555 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
  • Travis M. Nelson Park -  4541 County Road 4, Pensacola
  • (NEW) 12950 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola (behind the Sheriff’s sub station)

The sand is available on a first come, first serve basis. Residents must bring their own sandbags and shovels.

Schools, Colleges & Universities

  • All Escambia County Schools will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 15 and Wednesday, Sept. 16. The Special School Board Meeting and Final Budget Hearing will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 5:01 p.m., and the Regular School Board Meeting will follow the Special Meeting, and begin at 5:30 p.m., also on Sept. 22.
  • Pensacola Christina Academy will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 15.
  • All Pensacola State College locations, offices, classes and activities are canceled and the college will be closed on Tuesday, Sept. 15. PSC plans to reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 16, but will continue to monitor the weather and send additional alerts if plans change.
  • UWF will be closed starting at 12 a.m. (midnight) on Tuesday, Sept. 15 through 11:59 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. All courses, including online courses, are cancelled. All assignments, exams, virtual and in-person courses must be suspended during this time. All virtual or in-person meetings, activities and services are suspended during this time. The University will resume operations at 12 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, Sept. 17 unless otherwise notified by the university.

Traffic Conditions

  • In Escambia County, we work with law enforcement to close bridges for safety at sustained (not gusts) wind speeds of 39 miles per hour or greater. It is not yet clear if our area will have this level of impact.

Pensacola International Airport

  • Pensacola International Airport is closed to all arriving and departing aircraft. Passengers will not be allowed to stay in the terminal building. PNS will remain closed until weather (wind speeds, rain, etc) allow for safe operation. Passengers with flights in or out of PNS should contact their airlines for rescheduling and updates.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

  • Sanitation collections for ECUA customers in Escambia and Santa Rosa County for Tuesday, Sept. 15, have been canceled following the announced closures of the Perdido and Central Landfills. Information on the resumption of collections will be posted after the re-opening of each landfill is determined by their respective county. All ECUA business offices will be closed Tuesday.
  • The ECUA Citizens’ Advisory Committee  meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15 has been rescheduled to Thursday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore has closed the Fort Pickens, Perdido Key/Johnson Beach, Santa Rosa/Opal Beach and Okaloosa areas and evacuated Fort Pickens campground. The areas will remain closed until further notice.
  • Highway 399, J. Earl Bowden Way, also closed Sunday night ahead of the storm.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

  • Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart – closed Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • FDOH-Escambia Downtown Center – closed Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • FDOH-Escambia at Publix (9th Ave. and Bayou Blvd.) – closed Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • Community Health Northwest Florida – closed Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • Community Health Northwest Florida Cantonment Pediatrics – closed Wednesday, Sept. 15
  • UWF – closed through Tuesday, Sept. 15

Council on Aging of West Florida

  • COA’s social services department is calling all clients in high-risk areas to advise them of options and determine their readiness for the storm.
  • The Retreat adult day care will be closed through Wednesday, Sept. 16.
  • Pre-packaged to-go meals distributed from churches and community centers in Santa Rosa will cease operation Tuesday, Sept. 15 and resume Wednesday, Sept. 16.
  • Meals on Wheels will also be suspended Tuesday, Sept. 15. Individuals scheduled to receive meals on Tues. will receive their meals on Wednesday.
  • To mitigate the risk caused by missed meal-delivery, many high-risk individuals were given shelf-stable, long-lasting meals at the start of hurricane season.
  • For questions on Council on Aging programs and services, call 850- 432-1475.

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